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Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ - News 



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SOUTHEAST CONFERENCE DF 
THE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST 




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Conference News and Announcements 

The last of the five Awareness/ Education 
Meetings scheduled across the Conference to 
solicit feedback on the proposed Financial 
Campaign for the future of the Conference was 
held at Midway Congregational UCC, 
Midway GA. Over 100 leaders and ministers 
have been present at these meetings, offering 
valuable input as we look to ways to strengthen 
and extend the ministries of our Conference 
financially through a special campaign. 
Represented at this meeting were not only 
Midway Congregational UCC, but First Congregational UCC, Savannah, Pilgrim 
Congregational UCC, Chattanooga, First Congregational UCC, Atlanta, and 
Central Congregational UCC, Atlanta. The feedback we received at these meetings 
will be forwarded to the Board of Directors at their meeting on May 15th. The Board will 
then determine the next step in our deliberations, and whether to move forward with a 
recommendation to the Annual Meeting of the Conference. 

Conference Annual Meeting Updates: 

We will have the registration materials for the Annual Meeting posted on our web site 
soon. As our plans develop, we are pleased to announce that Donna Allen professor of 
homiletics at Lancaster Theological Seminary, will be the preacher at the Theology 
Among the People (TAP) Commencement on Thursday evening, June nth. In addition 
to having Steve Sterner, Acting Executive Minister of Local Church Ministries 
of the United Church of Christ and active in Peace Congregational UCC, 
Clemson, SC, as our preacher on Friday evening, June 12th, will be welcoming the 
choir of Victory Church, Stone Mountain. The Victory Choir has been with us in 
the past, and received an enthusiastic reception. We have word that we will be joined at 
our Annual Meeting by Alice Hunt, the newly installed president of Chicago 
Theological Seminary, Ava Blackwell, Director of Admissions at Lancaster 
Theological Seminary, Phyllis Byrd, a Global Ministries Partnership missionary in 
Kenya, and Mary Seymour of the Cornerstone Fund, a ministry of Local Church 
Ministries. We will be looking for people to volunteer from the Atlanta area UCC 
churches, who are serving as our hosts. If you would like to help, contact Gerri 
ghudson@secucc.org, and she will direct you to the volunteer coordinator for your 
congregation. 

Interested in the current financial status and challenges of the Southeast Conference? 
We are posting comments and reflections following the end of each quarter of the year. 
You can view these and articles at: http://www.secucc.org/about/financial.php. 

We received a letter of thanks from the Pension Boards of the UCC for the 

$11,420 that they received from the congregations of the Southeast Conference to the 
Christmas Fund which supports the Board for Ministerial Assistance. If you are 
interested in how those funds are used, you can go to www.christmasfund.org. 



Georgia South Carolina Association, UCC, Annual Meeting 

April 4, 2009 

Theme: "Ministry For Such a Time as This" 



The Annual Meeting of the Georgia- South Carolina 
Association was held on April 4th. Forty people 
were present for the meeting and ecclesiastical 
council following. It was graciously hosted by 
Garden of Grace UCC in Columbia, SC, which 
provided hospitality, food, and inspiring worship. 

Keynoting for the event was Associate 
Conference Minister Kathy Clark who spoke 




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Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ - News 



5/7/09 7:28 AM 




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about the sea change in church life in the last four 
decades and the call to reshape the formation of 
ministers to serve this changed church in new and creative ways. She noted our identity 
as a Conference dramatically reshaped by the call cultivates congregations which 
demonstrate a spirit of radical hospitality, justice and peace. The Ministry Issues 
Pronouncement which was passed four years ago by General Synod, and which calls for 
changes to the Constitution and Bylaws of the UCC at this Synod in 2009 is paving a 
path to the preparation for ministers for the emerging church. A foundational 
assumption of the Pronouncement is that all are called to ministry by virtue of our 
baptism. Some are set apart by ordination or licensing to particular ministries on behalf 
of the church. The Pronouncement provides for the assessment of people for ministry in 
four primary areas: spiritual formation, UCC identity, personal and professional 
formation, and knowledge and skills for ministry. She noted that the Southeast 
Conference will be a pioneer in living into this new paradigm. 

Ben Rose preached his ordination sermon at the Ecclesiastical Council using John 14 as 
his text. He called us to be witnesses to the Good News, and reminded us that this will 
lead us into confrontation with worldly ways. He was approved unanimously for 
ordination. 

During the business meeting we recognized Marvin Morgan, member and Associate 
Minister of First Congregational UCC, Atlanta, as the Moderator of the upcoming 
General Synod. We further celebrated the election of the following people to the Church 
and Ministry Committee: Beth Herndon (Central Congregational UCC, Atlanta), 
Ronnie Galvin (First Congregational UCC, Atlanta), Jetta Washington and 
Carole Moss (Victory Church, Stone Mountain), Geroge Drumbor (Circular 
Congregational Charleston), Tommy Hill (Evergreen Congregational UCC, 
Beachton, GA). 

The worship service, led by Andy Sidden, pastor of Grace of Grace UCC, was a call 
to us to grow God's disciples and tend God's garden, and remain courageous in the face 
of those who object. 

Alabama -Tennessee Association, UCC 

Annual Meeting 

April 24-25, 2009 

Theme: "For Such a Time as This" 

The Alabama-Tennessee Association Annual 
Meeting held April 24, 25, was hosting by the 
Holy Trinity Community UCC in Nashville. 
Approximately 100 people were a part of the 
event which was notable for the warm hospitality 
of our hosts, the dynamic music of the Holy 
Trinity Choir, and the excellent preaching of 
Associate Conference Minister Kathy 
Clark, who stepped in to keynote and preach at 
the last minute when Marti Baumer of Eden 
Theological Seminary the scheduled keynote was 
unable to come. Associate Conference Minister 
Kathy Clark lifted up the theme of ministry as she had at the Georgia- South Carolina 
Association Annual Meeting. She added that the Ministry Issues Pronouncement was 
not the "dumbing down of ministry" but was a refocusing on the preparation of ministry 
to equip the ministries of the church and an invitation to a candidate into a process of 
discernment around their gifts for ministry. Ministry Issues stresses that learning for 
ministry is a lifelong undertaking. 

At the business meeting of the Association, Don Clark, a member of Pleasant Hill 
Community Church UCC, TN was elected moderator to succeed Nancy Sales, a 
member of First Congregational Christian UCC, Birmingham. Dorinda 
Broadnax of Community Congregational UCC, Montgomery was elected vice- 
moderator, and Marilyn Jones of First Congregational Christian UCC, 
Birmingham, elected Secretary. The Association also passed two resolutions, the 
first urging action on climate change, and the second opposing the use of 
nuclear power to solve America's energy problems. 

Conference Minster Tim Downs reported that while this was a challenging season 
for all financially, Our Church's Wider Mission (Basic Support) for 2008 was up, and 
that giving so far this year has been strong. He noted that the Southeast Conference is 
looked to as a leader in many setting of the United Church of Christ especially is areas of 
new church development, congregational affiliation, and ministry formation. He 
thanked the Association for their generous support of the conference and its ministries. 




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Southeast Conference of the United Church of Christ - News 



5/7/09 7:28 AM 



Many are aware that the Southeast Conference, UCC has been in a vital relationship 
with our ecumenical partners in the Formula of Agreement, the Southeastern Synod 
of the ELCA and the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, PCUSA. Over the years we have been 
grateful for the generosity of our ecumenical colleagues in sharing the Resource 
Connection with us as an ecumenical resource center for all of our congregations helping 
us with volunteers at General Synod in 2005, and in many other ways. We are invited to 
an opportunity to return some of the gracious support we have received. The Presbytery 
of Great Atlanta is hosting a national gathering of the PCUSA in Atlanta, a time of 
renewal and celebration for the denomination. They have asked us whether we could 
provide volunteers to stuff registration packets on Tuesday, June 9th. The 
work will be done at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Atlanta, and they have a need for 20 
people. For more information, contact Tim Downs at tdowns@secucc.org, and he will 
get you what you need to know. The Southeast Conference was proud to host a meeting 
of all the new church developments in the greater Atlanta area of the PCUSA, the ELCA 
and the UCC. This was a time of sharing and exploring the ways we can support one 
another in the important ministries we all have. 

The Conference was proud to host a 
meeting of all the Conference staff across 

the UCC who are engaged in new church 
development in Nashville March 30 through 
April 1st. The program was an overview of key 
issues around new church development presented 
by Ed Stetzer, a Southern Baptist new church 
developer. His address was one of guiding 
churches to become missional and outreaching. 
Associate Conference Minister Cameron 
Trimble organized the event. 

Posted on May 6, 2009 

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